Halloween – the ultimate trick or treat

Posted on October 29, 2013 · Posted in Holidays

Halloween is viewed by many as a night of family fun, fantasy dress up, and sweet rewards. Millions participate in Halloween festivities for these reasons. If this was all there was to Halloween there would be nothing to be concerned about. But not everything is at it appears to be. There is a dark-side to Halloween. 


The last few weeks cable channels have flooded TV screens with horror movies specializing in blood, fear, and gore. Modern imaging technology makes these films shockingly realistic.  Satanists claim Halloween as their holy day. The occult revels in this dark celebration. 


The contrast is stunning. One side of the Halloween coin is bright, fun and exciting. The other side represents the darkest of features of fallen man. Both sides are celebrated on the same night. Is it possible to ignore the dark side of Halloween and enjoy only the fun part?


I believe one of the real dangers of Halloween is to classify the darkness associated with the day as fantasy that can be ignored. But make no mistake, the forces of darkness are real and predatory. Numerous passages of the Bible warn of spiritual warfare. The enemy is real and vicious. The Bible warns us not to be taken in and to avoid evil. 


Does this mean that you should not help your children dress up as pirates or princesses and visit your neighbors looking for goodies? Not necessarily. But have you counted the cost?  Remember, the theme of your spiritual enemy is deception. His goal is the destruction of you and your family. Some claim that Halloween is his night. 


For example, consider the phrase, “trick or treat”.  Sounds harmless enough. It is just an expression to gain some candy. But what is Biblical but the phrase? What it really means is that if I don’t get a treat, you can expect a trick against you. Now I know most of you reading this are not teaching your children to mess up the neighbor’s lawn or house if they are not sufficiently rewarded. But then, why even utter the phrase? Is this honoring God? It is easy to say it is just an expression, but is it an expression that brings honor to God?


Think carefully about Halloween. Remember it is a two-sided coin The dark side is not pretty. You can hope that by just looking at the fun side that the darkness can be ignored. Is this really what you want to teach your children; just ignore the bad things and focus on the good? After all, Halloween is so much fun. How many other things are there that present a positive upside but when you turn the coin over you are greeted by the smiling face of the enemy? I am not attempting to insist on a particular course of action.  I am just praying that you will remember that since the fall things are often not what they appear to be.


Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.